YOUNG STAR: SCENES BY  TEEN  SPIRITS

MANILA, 
June 9, 2004  (STAR) By Kathy Moran And Igan D’bayan  -  What happens when three teenagers take a lot of funky, weird photographs? They mount a photo exhibit. And, this is exactly what Jenna Genio, Miko Galvez and Feanne Mauricio did at Tavern on the Square over the weekend. "All Art is Quite Useless" is what they called the exhibit sponsored by Globe Telecom, which also featured rock bands purveying goth rock and what-have-you. The title was taken from Oscar Wilde’s preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Jenna Genio is a quirky, opinionated 16-year-old girl who one day dreams of becoming a creative photographer. Miko Galvez, 17, is the smiling guy who carries with him a camera wherever he goes. And Feanne Mauricio, 16, loves taking photos of cute things. She started in the field by snapping photos of her cat with a digital camera her father gave her last year.

"We met each other in school," says Jenna Genio, the most talkative in the group. "It was Father’s Day celebration in Southridge where Miko studies. He called me video girl and I called him camera boy."

From there Miko and Jenna invited Feanne and the three of them would go on gimmicks together, just like a barkada would. Many, many photo trips later and hundreds of pictures between them, the group decided that they should show their pictures – not just on the Internet like what they were doing before – but in an exhibit. "Everybody got involved – even our parents. It turned out to be one big event," says Jenna.

Miko started playing with the camera, an instamatic sub-35 mm, at a young age. "I must have been 10 when I got my first camera. As a child I would take shots of anything that interested me," he shares. It is because of this that Jenna and Feanne look to Miko as the more mature photographer in the group.

Miko is described as someone who is "known for his bad habit of cracking corny jokes and making sarcastic comments" and who "makes it a point to laugh at least once every day."

For Jenna photography is something relatively new, having started her own foray into the field when she was a preteen. "I loved taking photos of my classmates. They would call me a historian because of all the photos I would take," says Jenna.

Jenna’s description goes like this: "She is a quirky, lazy high school Capricorn… She wants to be everything when she grows up. If she was a playing card, she’d be the ace of spades."

Feanne on the other hand, "looks out the car window at the pretty trees and the pretty sky instead of paying attention to where she is going. She claims to love cats too, but that’s probably because she is one."

Feanne says, "I loved to take pictures of my cat. My cat is always posing, and because of that I knew that I have to keep taking her picture."

And just how do they describe each other’s style when it comes to photography?

Jenna says that Miko is the serious and mature photographer. "You know, he is the guy with the eyeglasses and he is the eldest." Feanne and Miko say that Jenna is dynamic and very liberal. "She likes to take pictures of people and capture the essence of her subjects. Miko and Jenna say that Feanne’s work is fluffy. "She likes to take pictures of fluffy things, but she is also deep in her own way."

And, yes for these three young ones, digital photography is where they get their fix.

"If you take a photo you can change it right away if you don’t like what you captured," says Jenna. "And, if you use an idiot camera and you don’t get a good shot you might never be able to capture it again. But with a digital camera you can do this," adds Miko.

Yes, the three of them plan to pursue a degree related to photography in college. But they plan to specialize in different fields.

Jenna wants a career in creative photography. "I don’t want to take pictures just to capture the moment. I want to take pictures that bring out the real person or subject in the photograph. I want to become a photographer who will be given the opportunity to take shots the way I want to."

Miko likes to experiment with different angles. Yes, he too does not want to be known as a photographer who just captures the moment. He clarifies, however, that these "moments" are also important to him.

For Feanne her specialty would also be something different. "I like to take pictures and take them in the weirdest angles. I have taken many shots and people have a hard time identifying where the shot was taken because it takes a while before they are able to recognize the angle I have chosen."

But don’t make the mistake of asking them to label their type of photography.

"We don’t sit down and put labels on the stuff we do," quips Jenna.

"We like to take shots of what we see and consider interesting. That’s it," adds Miko.

"Our dream camera costs about P400,000. It is an SLR camera," says Jenna.

So, would they prefer a camera to a car?" we ask.

"Yup," is Jenna’s quick reply.

"I am a guy, so it would be good to have a car. But if I were given a choice, I would take the camera," opines Miko.

"I can’t drive yet. And if Miko or Jenna got a car I would ride with them and get the camera," says Feanne.

Indeed.

Three people, three different tastes, one love – photography. Miko, Jenna and Feanne love to express themselves by capturing the essence of what they see around them in more weird ways than one.

Maybe Oscar Wilde was inaccurate. All art is not useless; maybe art has merely outgrown its utility.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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